This morning I opted to give the pheasant a miss and headed to the Gap, in the quest for a host of personal bogey birds - Pin-tailed Parrotfinch, Bamboo Woodpecker, Marbled Wren Babbler and Ferruginous Partridge. On my way to the top gate I flushed a whistling thrush off the road before dawn, and made a mental note to stake out the spot the following morning.
The bamboo stands in front of the Gap Resthouse were flowering, and some movement in them raised my hopes initially, but sadly the only birds feeding on them were White-rumped Munias.
A pair of Ochraceous Bulbuls were feeding young. These are the commonest bulbul on the Gap road.
A pair of Silver-breasted Bulbuls and two Orange-breasted Trogons were also on view. The latter were too distant to photograph.
The wren babbler and partridge were silent and elusive,as were the parrotfinches and woodpecker. The most surprising bird seen was a very late Chestnut-winged Cuckoo.
This Blue-eared Barbet was one of several feeding in a fruiting fig.
I spent the afternoon studying the High Pines garden with the kids.
We found this very cool millipede.
It had 248 legs (approx!), not a thousand!
And this centipede had only 58 legs, not a hundred. It seems we've been duped! [Edit: Apparently this too is a millipede, as its legs are arranged in pairs on both sides]
I had to document one of the typical features of the trails at Fraser's. This leech is gorging itself on my blood. In the current wet weather, leeches are quite numerous. However, apart from causing intense itchiness for a short while, they are innocuous enough.
Silver-eared Mesias are an almost constant noisy presence in the garden.
I got frustratingly brief views of a Collared Owlet on the Pine Tree trail in the afternoon.